EURO 2016: semi-final: France v Germany


GT at 2016-07-07 22:11:20

To finish, let’s leave it to a superb tweet from Dave Hodges, who simply asks…

Would it be useful for the refereeing authorities to confirm whether it is or it isn’t?


Of course it would Dave…but don’t hold your breath as UEFA does not publicly rebuke its referees very often. They will known it is a poor call by Rizzoli, but will not want to hang him out to dry.


Good night everyone…and thanks again.

It’s been an absolute pleasure being with you again tonight.

GT at 2016-07-07 22:08:03

Thank you all so much for the many, many tweets tonight…we love reading them all.

Your comments following that controversial penalty call show just how difficult it can be when refereeing games of football, but hopefully we have clarified the decision for you and explained why a penalty kick was the wrong call.

Stay with us here on YATR for more live commentary on Refcam, as we shall, of course, be covering Sunday’s final game of EURO 2016.

The action does not end there, though, as the MLS takes centre stage on July 17th and 24th with games between Montreal Impact and New York City, and Sporting Kansas City v Seattle Sounders.

Whilst on the website you will find loads of other interesting content including a great piece from Alan Brazil on the financial rewards from refereeing.

Add to that the superb ‘Hackett’s Blog’ where the former top referee and General Manager of the PGMOL tells it straight in why UEFA should revise its criteria for suspensions at future EURO tournaments, and it is clear why YATR followers know this is the place for all referees to improve their knowledge, understanding and performance.

Keep it here on

GT at 2016-07-07 22:05:41

It is such a shame for Rizzoli that his mistake will forever mask what was otherwise a good performance, but big calls change games….and opinions.

He went from having a very good game to changing the result with one big mistake.

To summarise the night:

  • overall, Rizzoli was doing very well right up until the incorrect penalty call
  • that penalty was a massive error, though, and that is not good enough at this level of officiating
  • good support from his team members – especially assistant Mauro Tonolini who made a couple of excellent offside calls

GT at 2016-07-07 22:02:10

Far from doing that, they conceded the ‘killer’ second goal as Antoine Griezmann opened up a big gap in his race for the Golden Boot, scoring his 6th goal of this tournament.

That was more than enough, as France went through, and Rizzoli unwittingly joined the number 7 as a favourite of the home supporters.

GT at 2016-07-07 21:59:57

The HUGE  talking point is, though, the referee.

Nicola Rizzoli made a massive call at the end of the first half when he gifted a penalty kick to the hosts.

YATR Refcam followers sent Twitter crazy with their contrasting views on whether he called it correctly or not.

I’m afraid he got it wrong…and the reason is clear.

In order to give a direct free-kick (or penalty kick) for handball the offence has to be DELIBERATE, and for me it was far from it.

However, Rizzoli gave it and that undoubtedly changed the game as France scored at a crucial time, whilst Germany had to open up even more as they went in search of an equaliser.

GT at 2016-07-07 21:55:22

Goals number 5 and 6 for Antoine Griezmann see France through to the final of EURO 2016 on Sunday, when they will meet Portugal.

They must be hot favourites to take the title in front of their own supporters, but as we have seen tonight…football is a funny old game and anything could happen.

Credit goes to both sides tonight for a feast of football, though.

Neither side asked or gave a quarter as they went for the win right from the start to the end.

GT at 2016-07-07 21:53:47

….and there it is.

France have done it.

Full Time

GT at 2016-07-07 21:53:00

Everyone is looking at referee Rizzoli again….but this time it is as they await his final whistle…

GT at 2016-07-07 21:51:55

What a save by French ‘keeper Lloris.

That’s as good as a goal at the other end.

GT at 2016-07-07 21:51:00

Foul for Germany as Cabaye bundles over Kroos.

But nothing comes from the free kick

GT at 2016-07-07 21:49:52

Cabaye takes over from the hero of the hour, Griezmann.

GT at 2016-07-07 21:49:03

That’s the end of the 90 minutes.

Four more to go on as France look to put this one to bed.

GT at 2016-07-07 21:48:16

Rizzoli still strolls around like he’s taking a Sunday afternoon stroll, not refereeing a semi-final.





GT at 2016-07-07 21:43:50

If the German fightback is going to happen, it needs to come soon.

85 minutes have passed…

GT at 2016-07-07 21:41:48

No foul by Benedikt Höwedes, and Rizzoli agrees as he waves play-on.

Good decision referee.

82 minutes

GT at 2016-07-07 21:40:38

Gignac is fortunate not to be cautioned for a trip and shirt pull on Kimmich

GT at 2016-07-07 21:39:29

Rizzoli is perfectly placed to see Evra take the ball cleanly from Sane.

GT at 2016-07-07 21:38:44

Just 10 minutes of the regular 90 to go.

Can Germany get back into this fantastic semi-final, or is it a home-soil final for France?

78 minutes

GT at 2016-07-07 21:37:49

The changes keep coming as Sane replaces Schweinsteiger for Germany

GT at 2016-07-07 21:37:04

Giroud makes way for Gignac as we see a French caution – yellow card
for a foul by Kante

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-07-07 21:33:56

15 minutes to go…

Don’t go anywhere, this has more to come

GT at 2016-07-07 21:33:09

What an outstanding game this is, as Kimmich hits the post with a superb curling effort

GT at 2016-07-07 21:32:10

Uncharacteristic confusion and mayhem in the German defence gives France a gift of a goal.

No ifs and buts about that one…Griezmann is now on a hat-trick

72 minutes

GT at 2016-07-07 21:30:48

GOAL! Griezmann AGAIN


GT at 2016-07-07 21:30:16

Payet leaves the action for France with N’Golo Kanté taking over for the final 20 minutes of regular play

GT at 2016-07-07 21:28:42

Free kick to France as Muller pushes over Koscielny.

Rizzoli can never be accused of being intimidated by the world champions!

GT at 2016-07-07 21:27:11

Whether or not you agree with referee Rizzoli’s penalty call, he is a model of calmness under pressure for any up-and-coming referee to study.

Bearing in mind he has made that MASSIVE  decision he still appears as calm as a swan drifting along a lake!

67 minutes

GT at 2016-07-07 21:25:11

Gotze replaces Can as Germany chase the qualiser

GT at 2016-07-07 21:24:20

If ever Germany needed Thomas Müller to break his scoring duck, that time is now.

Can you believe that the man who has scored so many World Cup goals has never scored at a EURO Finals?

GT at 2016-07-07 21:22:15

And meanwhile….the penalty/no penalty debate rages on!

GT at 2016-07-07 21:21:22

Assistant Tonolini makes another good offside call as France hold a firm defensive line

61 minutes

GT at 2016-07-07 21:19:48

A huge blow to Germany as Boateng has to leave the action with a hamstring injury.

He is finally replaced by Shkodran Mustafi

GT at 2016-07-07 21:18:18

An hour has passed and France are still heading for the final on Sunday.

Will they hang on, or can Germany get back into this one?

Let us know who you believe will be triumphant by contacting us either on Twitter @youaretheref

GT at 2016-07-07 21:16:41

There is fabulous debate still going on between YATR followers on Twitter over that penalty to France.

Keep it going, we love reading all of your tweets.

GT at 2016-07-07 21:15:14

Free kick to France as assistant referee Tonolini makes an excellent offside call.

That was a tough one…well done that man.

GT at 2016-07-07 21:13:58

Emre Can is walking a very tight line indeed as he goes to ground without contact being made on him.

Had he appealed for a foul he may well have seen a second caution and therefore a red card.

Be careful Mr Can…you have seen this referee is not afraid of a big call.

GT at 2016-07-07 21:11:54

Good work by Evra who fairly uses his strength to shield the ball out of play.

Germany will put Rizzoli under all kinds of pressure to level things up with a penalty award…

GT at 2016-07-07 21:09:51

More trouble for Germany as Draxler sees yellow for a poor challenge on Sissoko.

He is the fourth German in Rizzoli’s notebook after just 50 minutes.

They really are rattled tonight!

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-07-07 21:08:25

Will the Germans react like a wounded animal and go all out attack on the French, or can the hosts hold on for a historic win in their home tournament?

GT at 2016-07-07 21:06:08

Referee Rizzoli spots a slight deflection by Boateng and correctly awards a corner kick to France

GT at 2016-07-07 21:04:43

The second half is upon us…no changes in playing personnel, and Germany get us going.

It seems Ozil was also cautioned following that controversial penalty award so he needs to be careful now

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-07-07 21:03:17

Your tweets are still coming in and it is still a split decision.

Half says good call, half say never a penalty.

Who would be a referee, eh?!?

Great tweets by the way….keep them coming

GT at 2016-07-07 21:01:30

Law is specific in dealing with handball offences.

FIFAs Laws clearly state the ball has to handled deliberately.

For me, Schweinsteiger did not handle the ball deliberately. His head was down when he made contact with the ball, and he was not looking in its direction. Neither did his arm move towards the ball…it was headed on to his arm.

I’m afraid referee Rizzoli has given a soft penalty kick there, which could put the home nation into the final of EURO 2016

GT at 2016-07-07 20:54:15

Your tweets are flying in by the bucket-load!

And it’s pretty much a 50/50 split on whether Rizolli was correct in his penalty award.

I have purposely not committed so as not to lead the debate but here goes…


….for me…

That is NOT  a penalty kick.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:51:11


that is a HUGE  call by Nicola Rizzoli.

There is no doubt that Schweinsteiger led with his arm and made contact with the ball, so you could put up an argument for a penalty.

What do you think though?

Send in your tweets to us at @youaretheref

GT at 2016-07-07 20:49:00


Half Time

GT at 2016-07-07 20:48:09

GOAL! penalty by Griezmann

GT at 2016-07-07 20:47:41

There is utter confusion as Rizzoli awards a penalty to France for a handball by Bastian Schweinsteiger, who is also cautioned Yellow Card

GT at 2016-07-07 20:46:16

That’s the end of the regular opening 45 minutes.

Just two added minutes to go on…

GT at 2016-07-07 20:45:11

Second caution of th game, and a first one for France.

Evra is correctly cautioned for a cynical foul on Kroos

Yellow Card

GT at 2016-07-07 20:44:15

We are in the final few minutes of the half and Giroud is through on goal, but he is not quick enough as the German defender catches him up.

Rizzoli shows good sprinting to get up with play.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:42:22

Dom Mason asks…@youaretheref is a free kick a straight arm out, so 90 degrees. Or, at an angle?

The arm should be slightly elevated Dom.

If you read FIFA’s Laws of The Game there are pictures towards the back of the book showing perfect examples

GT at 2016-07-07 20:38:32

That caution brings referee Rizolli equal top-spot on the caution count for this tournament…that is number 14 for him so far.

35 minutes

GT at 2016-07-07 20:37:33

Yellow CardEmre Can.

Good call, referee.

Can has been pushing his luck in the last 15 minutes.

Let’s hope he takes notice of that warning.


GT at 2016-07-07 20:36:30

Excellent positioning again allows Rizolli to see the foul on Pogba

GT at 2016-07-07 20:34:15

In a game of such intensity and importance, Rizolli is playing it perfectly.

He is so calm in his decision making and is not looking for every little infringement..

His judgement of foul play is adding to the excitement and non-stop action

GT at 2016-07-07 20:31:31

The opening third of this game has flown by.

With the only question being…how is it still 0-0?

GT at 2016-07-07 20:30:46

Question from Declan Lockett:

@youaretheref is Kroos’s ring taped up? I thought it had to be taken off?

Law 4 specifically deals with this, and is clear…

“All items of jewellery (necklaces, rings, bracelets, earrings, leather bands,
rubber bands, etc.) are strictly forbidden and must be removed. Using tape to
cover jewellery is not acceptable”.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:26:02

,,,but Manuel Neuer easily saves the effort on goal.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:25:19

Payet has a free kick in dangerous territory…

21 minutes

GT at 2016-07-07 20:24:53

Toni Kroos bursts forward and there are loud shouts for a penalty as he has his heels clipped just as he is about to offload a shot.

Rizzoli gives nothing, but it should have been a free kick to the Germans as he was certainly fouled.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:20:40

Boateng takes the ball from Griezmann.

The big German is simply too strong for him and Rizzoli correctly judges no foul again.

I like this referee…he is calmness personified.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:18:09

Payet pushes over Kimmich and Rizzoli calmly awards the free kick.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:15:48

It’s all hands to the pump in the French defence as Germany go all out attack.

Rizzoli is doing really well in his reading and management of the game.

He is very happy to let the players take centre stage.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:13:09

10 minutes into the game and it already looks like neither side has come for a penalty shoot-out!

The Germans have settled after that initial French onslaught, and we have a really good game on our hands.

So far, so good from our referees too.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:10:57

Question from Grant Alema:

@youaretheref why is he wearing blue socks?

Because Germany are wearing black socks…it avoids any clash of colours.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:08:32

Matuidi fouls Emre Can, and Rizzoli is right on the spot to give the free kick.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:06:15

Nicola is not in the mood for play-acting as he waves away another call – this time it’s the Germans asking for a foul by Pogba.

“Play on” cries Rizzoli. Good refereeing.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:03:42

Early cries for a French penalty for handball, but Rizzoli is perfectly placed to correctly award a corner kick.

GT at 2016-07-07 20:02:47

It’s a frantic start by both teams, making game-reading difficult for our referee.


GT at 2016-07-07 20:00:59

France have the kick-off and get us underway…

GT at 2016-07-07 19:55:55

The teams are out, and it’s almost time for kick-off in Marseille…

GT at 2016-07-07 19:37:53

As for our officials today…

Top Italian-whistler, Nicola Rizzoli, takes control of this heavyweight clash tonight.

He is joined by fellow Italians Elenito Di Liberatore and Mauro Tonolini on the lines with Daniele Orsato and Antonio Damato working as the additional assistants behind each goal.

Slovenians Damir Skomina (4th official) and Jure Praprotnik (reserve official) complete the team of officials.

Rizzoli is nearing the end of his career as a FIFA Referee and will look back on a decade of international service which has seen him referee the final matches of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, 2013 UEFA Champions League and the 2010 UEFA Europa League.

This is the Italian’s fourth match as a referee at EURO 2016, having previously taken charge of England v Russia, Portugal v Austria and France v Republic of Ireland. Those three games have seen 13 cautions and 1 red card…so the teams would do well to take heed of those statistics as Nicola is not a referee who shies away from a card or two.

Everyone at YATR wishes you the very best of luck, and may the ball run kindly for you gents.

This should be a fascinating clash.

Don’t go anywhere…follow the big match here on YATR.

GT at 2016-07-07 19:26:12

Hi everyone, and welcome to today’s live Refcam commentary game.

We have for you the EURO 2016 semi-final tie, France v Germany, which is being played at the Stade Vélodrome, Marseille

Either of these two sides is capable of winning not only this semi-final, but the tournament itself.

When the unbeaten hosts can draw upon a fully-fit and available squad which includes three of the tournament’s top goal scorers in Dimitri Payet (3 goals), Antoine Griezmann (4) and Olivier Giroud (3) who would bet against them going all-the-way and lifting the trophy?

However, standing in their way tonight is another unbeaten side which has conceded just one goal all tournament, and that was a penalty kick!

Germany has a formidable side packed-full of household names from the world’s best goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer, to the mercurial Mesut Özil and Toni Kroos.

There will some interesting personal battles in this one as several players form each country share clubs; Manuel Neuer, Jérôme Boateng, Joshua Kimmich, Mario Götze and Thomas Müller with Kingsley Coman at FC Bayern München, Mesut Özil with Laurent Koscielny and Olivier Giroud from Arsenal FC, and Bastian Schweinsteiger with Anthony Martial of Manchester United.

You could normally add Sami Khedira with Patrice Evra and Paul Pogba at Juventus to that list but the German is unavailable to due injury. He is joined on the sidelines by fellow countrymen Mats Hummels (suspended) and Mario Gomez (injured).

So, YATR followers, who will make it through to the final on Sunday in the Stade de France at Saint-Denis, where Portugal await.

Let us know who you believe will be triumphant by contacting us either on Twitter @youaretheref or email us at